Community Service Hours at Southern Pines Animal Shelter and Operation Christmas Child

Since my freshman year, I have been volunteering at Southern Pines Animal Shelter here in Hattiesburg, MS. It has been amazing to see the effect that caring for the animals, helping out the staff, and encouraging visitors to adopt has had on myself and Southern Pines. For me, volunteering is more than something to check off my to-do list each week because I found true joy in helping others and I even looked forward to it! Almost every single or at least every other Wednesday I would find myself at Southern Pines Animal Shelter. When I am there, I am able to walk the dogs, help feed them, fold any laundry, and so much more. Volunteering here has been the biggest blessing in my life, and it has taught me responsibility for sure!

If you would like to start volunteering at Southern Pines Animal Shelter, you can find information at

Within my amazing sorority here at USM, I was able to participate in the Operation Christmas Child service project as well! We partnered with different churches in Hattiesburg like Temple Baptist Church to help their goal of obtaining over 1,500 boxes! It was such an amazing experience to be able to complete two boxes of my own, for I was able to pick out items and gifts that will go to a child in need. I hope and pray that the children who will be receiving these boxes know how much they are loved and worthy! By preparing these boxes, it really hit me that we are so fortunate to live in the United States, to go to college, and to be able to do things like this. I really learned to be even more grateful for what I have, and to not take this life for granted. If you would like to volunteer with Operation Christmas Child like me, feel free to email me at, and I can get you all the information! All you need is a shoebox and a helpful heart!

Even though this year has been a little crazy and unexpected, I feel so blessed to have still be able to help out with activities, volunteering, planning, and supporting others. Thank you, Luckyday, for providing this avenue of documenting our service! I will forever be grateful for the Luckyday program, and it’s continued influence on my life. 

-Julia Clark

Julia Clark is a junior Luckyday Scholar majoring in nursing.

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